Events round-up 2013: keynotes from Emer Coleman, David Shing, Philip Moynagh and more

23 Dec 2013

Ann O'Dea, CEO and editor-at-large of, at the Irish Data Forum. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

Throughout 2013, Silicon Republic hosted six events in Dublin, bringing together thought leaders and international experts to share their ideas on data, talent, innovation, green energy and more. Here, we pick out our highlights from the year’s keynotes for your viewing pleasure.

Green Growth Forum

On the morning of 25 January, Silicon Republic, in association with the Green IFSC, hosted the Green Growth Forum 2013 in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD), where experts and leaders in finance, technology and policy came together to discuss the theme of fostering and financing green innovation.

Dr Eddie O’Connor, founder and chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power, delivered a keynote describing how a UK energy deal could power the industrialisation of Ireland’s Midlands. A UK-Ireland Memorandum of Understanding had been signed the day before, to progress plans for the trading of renewable energy between both countries. O’Connor claimed this would be the biggest energy project attempted in Ireland since Ardnacrusha and predicted that Ireland could derive €2.5bn from the project by 2020.

Green Growth Forum – Mainstream Renewable Power CEO Eddie O’Connor on the clean energy export potential for Ireland – Part 1 

Green Growth Forum – Eddie O’Connor, CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power on the clean energy export potential for Ireland – Part 2 

Check out the Green Growth Forum microsite for more videos, including the opening address from Fergus O’Dowd, TD, the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; and keynote speeches from Thierry Van Landegem, chair of the board of GreenTouch, and John Gibbs, senior partner at PwC’s Global Renewable Energy Practice.

Future Jobs Forum

Back at the CCD on 8 February, we joined together a selection of international and local leaders to examine the challenges and opportunities presented by the global battle for talent.

In her keynote, Sally Khallash, founding director of the Centre for Global Talent Strategy, warned us all that sourcing tech talent from overseas is easier said than done. Highlighting the competition coming from emerging markets, Khallash believes countries the world over need to devise “defend and attract” strategies to retain existing skilled workers and attract new talent from abroad.

Future Jobs Forum – Sally Khallash, Director, Centre for Global Talent Strategy, on rallying global talent – Part 1 

Future Jobs Forum – Sally Khallash, Director, Centre for Global Talent Strategy, on rallying global talent – Part 2 

Also speaking at the Future Jobs Forum were the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, and Ryan Shanks, managing director of Accenture Talent and Organisation in Ireland. Watch their speeches plus panel discussions bringing together stakeholders in education and industry via the dedicated Future Jobs Forum site.

Digital Ireland Forum

On 19 April, we returned to the CCD once more for our first Digital Ireland Forum (DIF) of 2013. Cork native Emer Coleman, founder of Disruption Ltd and formerly deputy director of Digital Engagement at Government Digital Services in the UK, took to the stage to deliver a keynote on how open governments can make their nations more entrepreneurial.

Coleman believes that embracing open-data principles can be massively empowering from an economic perspective, as well as demonstrating a truly mature government that has nothing to hide from its citizens. She cited the example of Norway, which has successfully embraced open data across every state institution and website.

Disruption Ltd founder Emer Coleman outlines how Ireland can become the best small country in which to do business 

The Digital Ireland Forum also included an opening address from Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD, and a second keynote from Gartner research VP Paolo Malinverno, all of which can be viewed, along with panel discussions from the event, on the DIF microsite.

Digital Ireland Forum: Global 2.0

After a summer break from events, we returned to the CCD on 20 September for our second Digital Ireland Forum. We were delighted at this event to have David Shing, digital prophet for AOL, deliver one of his unforgettable keynote presentations.

‘Shingy’ – as he is known – regularly speaks at conferences worldwide, discussing the latest trends and the future of the web, and providing insights into the evolving digital landscape. For this particular presentation, he described how we are leaving the age of social and entering the age of context, where wearable tech and big data will combine to – hopefully – make our lives better.

Shingy’s fast-paced and sometimes comic presentation is a must-watch for anyone trying to keep apace with future digital trends, and the event also hosted talks from Ciarán Cannon, TD, the Minister for Training and Skills, and Irish Government CIO Bill McCluggage. For these presentations and the panel discussions that followed, check out the Digital Ireland Forum: Global 2.0 microsite.

Innovation Ireland Forum

On 11 October, we convened at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin for the Innovation Ireland Forum, to examine how the future can be created here in Ireland. Philip Moynagh, director of low-power embedded processors at Intel, factory manager of Fab24, and leader of the team from Intel Ireland that created the ‘Designed in Ireland’ system on a chip (SoC), was just one of our three keynote speakers.

Moynagh’s message was simple: break the rules to smash the innovation bottleneck. Drawing on his own experience – as a child as much as a professional – he explained how diverging from the rule-book is at the heart of innovation, and, even, Irish nature.

Innovation Ireland Forum 2013 – ‘Designed in Ireland’: Intel’s Philip Moynagh on changing Ireland’s innovation story Part 1 

Innovation Ireland Forum 2013 – ‘Designed in Ireland’: Intel’s Philip Moynagh on changing Ireland’s innovation story Part 2 

Innovation Ireland Forum 2013 – ‘Designed in Ireland’: Intel’s Philip Moynagh on changing Ireland’s innovation story Part 3 

Minister Bruton once again joined us to address the Innovation Ireland Forum, while DG Connect’s Bror Salmelin and Soundwave’s Brendan O’Driscoll presented the additional keynotes. We also had three lively panel discussions, all of which can be viewed on the Innovation Ireland Forum microsite.

Irish Data Forum

For the first time this year, we hosted an Irish Data Forum to focus on putting the ‘I’ back into IT. Held on 22 November in the CCD, keynote addresses at this event came from Phil Townsend, communications director at Manchester United Football Club, and Stephen Prentice, Gartner research VP and fellow.

Prentice did a fantastic job of weighing up both the potential advantages and risks that come with data in a humorous and enlightening way. Littered with relatable examples, his keynote speech is a perfect example of his skill at combining technical understanding with human and behavioural factors to build a compelling perspective on how technology is changing the world.

Both keynotes from the Irish Data Forum, as well as the panel discussions that followed, are available on the event microsite.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.